The New Plymouth Surfriders Club received a grant from the NZCT. Photo/ Provided
The Surfing for Farmers initiative is underway this year, thanks to a grant from the NZCT.
The New Plymouth Surfriders Club (NPSC) has secured $34,670 to help buy more surfboards for the mental health initiative, which started in Gisborne and has now spread across New Zealand.
NPSC President Mark Dwyer says it’s a great way to meet new people, support local farmers and have a fun, inspiring and open-to-all outlet.
“Last summer was our first time doing Surfing for Farmers at the New Plymouth Surfriders’ Club. We struggled to get enough surfboards for all the farmers who joined us and some people had to waiting on the beach, taking turns. We needed another 10 9ft longboards to help farmers learn to surf and get together off the farm.”
The NPSC was formed in 1991 by 65 New Plymouth surfers who successfully secured a council-owned building as their clubhouse.
The club now has 4500 members, has an active competitive side to the club and holds regular surfing competitions throughout the year.
It also supports competitive surfers through coaching sessions and financial assistance for club surfers competing nationwide.
He says the club has a social scene and supports families and young beginner surfers by introducing them to surfing.
“We do this for Family Fun Night. We regularly have over 30 kids in the water on a Friday night, depending on the weather. We provide the surfboards and wetsuit, while experienced club members advise and guide the youngest.”
Mark says Surfing for Farmers is important to the club.
“In our second summer now, this is a national mental health initiative for farmers at 25 beaches across the country. The club provides surfboards, wetsuits, workouts and a barbecue event/ drinks every Tuesday night throughout the summer. We regularly have 30 surfer farmers in attendance every week.”
He says that due to the nature of surfing, the club needs to replace and repair surfboards for members.
“The seas can be quite unforgiving at times and equipment gets damaged. With the support of NZCT, our goal this summer is for everyone to be able to get involved with the proper gear.”